The updated IPCC report released in August of 2021 synthesizes over 14,000 peer-reviewed studies on the science of our climate, and its findings are stark: “unless there are immediate, rapid and large-scale reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, limiting warming to close to 1.5°C or even 2°C will be beyond reach.” Achieving these reductions will require “a massive reallocation of capital.”
In spring of 2019, the head of the Bank of England, Mark Carney, and the Governor of the Bank of France, François Villeroy de Galhau, released a joint letter stating that the global financial system faces an existential threat from climate change: Physical damage from weather-related events, climate-driven displacement, the health impacts of global warming and the risk of climate-inspired systemic shifts all threaten the global financial system.
To address these concerns, 350 Colorado is running campaigns focused on defunding climate disaster, including working to advance state-wide public banking as a more sustainable alternative banking model, calling on JPMorgan Chase to stop funding extreme fossil fuel projects to the tune of $317 Billion since the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement, urging cities throughout Colorado to stop banking with wall street banks that are funding the climate crisis, calling on Colorado’s pension fund, PERA, to divest from fossil fuels, and working in coalition with groups nationally and internationally to call out the top financiers of the climate crisis.
Want to get more involved? Join the Defund Climate Disaster/Divest-Invest Committee to receive ongoing action alerts and stay up to date with campaign planning.
How Can You Take Action?
- Learn about which banks have the worst records when it comes to climate. Read and the Banking on Climate Chaos 2021 Report here. The report reveals that the world’s 60 biggest banks have poured $3.8 trillion into financing fossil fuels since the 2016 Paris Climate Agreement. The four biggest global bankers of fossil fuels are JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo, Citi, and Bank of America.
- Check out this new report “Wall Street’s Carbon Bubble: The Global Emissions of the US Financial Sector” which finds that the 18 largest US banks and asset managers alone were responsible for a total of 1.968 billion tons of CO2-equivalent. To put that into perspective, if the US financial firms studied were a country, they would be the 5th largest emitter in the world! Amplify this report with this social media toolkit!
- Are you a Chase, Wells Fargo, Bank of America or Citibank customer? Help us get to 10,000 customers and sign-on to the Customers for Climate Justice Open Letter to CEOs!.
- Send an email to Citibank’s CEO and executives, to let them know: Citibank needs a climate plan that will bring an end to fossil fuel expansion.
- Morgan Stanley was the only US bank to release a new climate plan at the Glasgow Climate Talks — but the plan it released is a disaster. Among the plan’s biggest problems: it lets the bank continue funding the expansion of the fossil fuel industry. Send an email to Morgan Stanley’s CEO and Chief Sustainability Officer to make it clear: 2030 climate targets must include ending funding for fossil fuel expansion.
- Break ties with and boycott banks financing harmful projects. Select a financial institution that is not financing fossil fuel projects and infrastructure, such as tar sands oil, fracking, coal mining, and oil or natural gas pipelines. Credit Unions are a great place to start.
- Check out the new Fossil Free Federal Reserve Website, and sign up to receive action alerts to stop fossil fuel financing at the Federal Reserve!
- Sign the Go Fossil Free: Divest-Invest Pledge and visit 350 Colorado’s Divest Invest Resource Hub to learn more at https://350colorado.org/promoting-solutions/divest-invest/
- Check out this groundbreaking report from the Climate Safe Pensions Network and Stand.earth, which found that just 14 U.S. pension funds finance fossil fuels to the tune of $81.6 billion. This includes our very own Colorado Public Employee Retirement Association, who has over $2 billion invested in Fossil Fuel Companies. Amplify this report with this social media toolkit!
- If you are a Colorado Public Employees Retirement Association (PERA) member, join the Fossil Free PERA campaign, calling on our state pension fund to divest from fossil fuels and reinvest in a cleaner, renewable energy future. Get started by signing the Fossil Free PERA Petition Here.
- Cut ties with insurers that insure or invest in fossil fuels. Call on your city or county to do so as well. Check out this Toolkit and learn more here.
- Tell US insurance companies: Stop insuring and investing in fossil fuels! Send U.S. insurance executives a message now.
- Help us send a powerful message to Liberty Mutual and Chubb’s top executives and make it clear: they must end all support for oil and gas expansion.
- Support Public Banking! 350 Colorado, as part of the Colorado Public Banking Coalition, is continuing to call on Colorado Legislators to support legislation to establish a Colorado public bank and allow municipal governments to establish public banks. See our Policy White Paper Here for more information, and sign on to our support letter here!
Want to learn more about the role banks play in climate change? Check out this webinar.